Hawk BMW’s Michael Dunlop upped the Superbike pace to a 132.365mph lap in tonight’s Isle of Man TT practice which is nudging John McGuinness’ outright lap record of 132.1mph set in last year’s Senior TT.
Dunlop, who earlier in the session smashed is own Superstock lap record with a 131.336mph lap, is absolutely on fire and if conditions remain as they have been tomorrow and into Saturday’s RST-backed Superbike race, the outright lap record is in serious danger.
Ian Hutchinson was second quickest with a 131.661 but that was from a standing start. The Tyco BMW man’s second lap was even quicker as he went into Glen Helen but then on the run from Ballaugh to Ramsey, he slowed eventually coming through on a 131.111 which was still the fourth fastest class lap of the evening.
King of the Mountain McGuinness stuck in a 131.116 to set the third fastest time. The Honda Racing man used a new-spec engine this evening and had a steady lap to get used to it before putting the hammer down. He said afterwards there was still a little bit more to come.
McGuinness’ team-mate Conor Cummins brushed the 130mph mark with a 129.986 for fourth place with Dean Harrison only fractionally slower with a 128.935. James Hillier’s Quattro Kawasaki was fifth with a 128.555 while Lee Johnston stuck in a 128.342 in sixth place. Bikesportnews.com diarist Michael Rutter put his Bathams/SMT BMW into seventh with a 128.340 while David Johnson has got the Norton SG5 together, setting a 128.323, one ahead of William Dunlop.
Bruce Anstey put in a couple of steady laps on the RCV but then crashed unhurt at Keppel Gate.